71st Chem. Co. gets certified

| July 6, 2012 | 0 Comments
Decontamination Soldiers with the 71st Chem. Co., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, decontaminate the oxygen tank of Staff Sgt. Cameron Tinker (left), chemical Soldier, 71st Chem. Co., during the unit’s certification exercise at the inactive shipyard in Waipahu, June 20.

Decontamination Soldiers with the 71st Chem. Co., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, decontaminate the oxygen tank of Staff Sgt. Cameron Tinker (left), chemical Soldier, 71st Chem. Co., during the unit’s certification exercise at the inactive shipyard in Waipahu, June 20.

Story and Photo by
Spc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

WAIPAHU — Soldiers with the 71st Chemical Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, earned their certification as they responded to simulated chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or CBRN, threats across Oahu during a series of exercises held here, June 17-22.

The U.S. Army uses such certification exercises to confirm if a unit is ready to deploy overseas.

June 20, the unit responded to a simulated maritime CBRN threat. In the scenario, a ship couldn’t dock because of a chemical leak, and many of the crew on board needed to be extracted and taken to safety.

Sgt. 1st Class Daphne Thomas, dismounted recon and surveillance platoon sergeant, 71st Chem. Co., 8th MP Bde., described the situation as initially chaotic.

“You try to find a location where the Soldiers are safe, but also not too far to accomplish their mission,” Thomas said. “Then you need to establish your roles.”

Augmented with members of the 93rd Civil Support Team, Hawaii National Guard, and a hazardous response unit from Joint Base Hickam-Pearl Harbor, the responders worked together to bring all of their equipment onto the ship and established a command post.

They also established a plan of action before successfully combating the heat, narrow pathways and stresses of a chemical maritime environment in order to identify the chemical leak and rescue crewmembers.

All this Soldiers must do while in the small confines of a ship.

But as unique as this mission may be, it is just a small piece of the CBRN puzzle, and just a representation of what the 71st Chem. Co. is capable of.

“We are ready to do any kind of consequence management,” Thomas said. “We are trained for any mission.”

Tags: , , ,

Category: Exercises, News, Safety, Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *